Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recipe: 2/3 cup lame jokes, 2 tbsp Star Wars reference...

Writing a webcomic is one of the most cynical things I've ever forced myself to do.

Lemme explain. Right now I'm working on chapter 6 of my comic, and the actual creation process is worse than laws or sausages. Basically, I have this file on my computer, and it's a big unfocused slurry of quotes, jokes, and half-baked ideas, sorta vaguely organized by subject matter, and in order to write a chapter, I come up with a vague idea, then I stick the quotes or gags in, one page at a time, until I've used 30 or so ideas and I have 30 or so pages of comic. It doesn't feel very artistic. In fact it feels like some kind of "extruded entertainment project," pressed into neat molds. There's even a bit of gooey conceptual runoff, but I sort of wipe that stuff up with my fingers and flick it back into the vat for reprocessing.

It's not exactly raw creative output, fingers streaming over the keyboard--livewire voodoo, Gibson called it--and I haven't decided if I'm just a new sort of writer, one comfortable with the complete breakdown of sequential development forced on previous writers by the nature of paper as a medium, or if I'm just a dreadful hack. Mostly I'm a hack, okay, I know--but someone who's good, I think, would really be able to explore the possibilities of cut-and-paste story writing.